Dragomir Zhelev, CEO and Founder of Delta.bg, a company that provides innovative and customized cloud solutions to customers for more than 12 years. He has devoted most of his life to technology and the development of cloud systems that encourage innovations and allows businesses to scale quickly, resulting in long-term growth.
Founded in 2009, Delta.bg is one of the leading hosting companies in the Bulgarian cloud computing landscape. It offers an extensive variety of individual and profiled hosting solutions while supporting and administering private, public, and hybrid cloud solutions.
The company is committed to its founding mission to deliver and ensure fast, reliable, and responsive customer service. Their data center is Equinix, a Tier 3+ class infrastructure. That guarantees uninterrupted connectivity and access to information. Relying on constant innovations Delta.bg’s team consists of more than 30 high-qualified professionals, guaranteeing privacy and supporting your projects according to the world’s best practices and standards.
In this interview, we discover what Delta.bg does, what are the methods by which Delta.bg is influencing business growth, and how the Cloud industry is constantly transforming? We also learn about the importance of prioritizing customer service and what is some advice for becoming a successful entrepreneur in the industry.
The Recursive: Recently, Delta.bg announced the integration of OpenStack in its infrastructure. Can you share more about this cloud computing platform?
Dragomir Zhelev: OpenStack is an open-source cloud computing platform that uses shared virtual resources to customize and manage private and public cloud systems. In fact, the open-source platform makes the automation of tasks straightforward, providing customers with greater freedom to access their resources – thereby improving work performance.
OpenStack can be categorized into three general types – public, private, and hybrid cloud. Therefore, we decided to integrate this system into our company’s structure due to its flexibility to amplify the server’s productivity.
Delta.bg’s new services are predominantly oriented towards improving the customer’s privacy and security. As a result, it would allow clients to automate and improve their processes and productivity.
In order to increase the efficiency of the IT teams, the term DevOps was introduced. It is a combination of tools that helps software companies deliver fast and reliable services. In addition, it allows customers to provide feedback and optimize their processes by automating new services without human interference.
Over the years, the cloud computing platform has been recognized by distinguished companies all across the globe. One of them is NASA, which uses the software to boost and manage its cloud.
Your company has helped hundreds of companies succeed by delivering cloud services for the past 13 years. How has the industry changed?
The cloud computing industry is constantly transforming. However, it changed the most in terms of accessibility to the users. When we entered the industry back in 2009, the clients could use only one virtual server. Over the years, many cloud service providers opened their servers to users. Now, users can access their cloud anywhere, having only an Internet connection.
In recent years, cloud scalability has been increasingly improved and facilitated, which is the primary driver of its popularity among businesses. In addition, the integration of monitoring systems that analyze and inspect whether a particular resource can be utilized is what makes scaling a fast and reliable process.
How do you envision the future of the industry?
Similar to other industries, the constant evolution of the cloud makes it possible to use new technologies. According to my expertise, the future will inevitably witness the use of AI more often. For instance, in a recent interview with the CEO of Nvidia Corporation, it was presented the most advanced video card, which would directly send information to the cloud. As a result, cloud storage would be able to make autonomous decisions in order to improve the productivity and automation of processes.
You founded Delta.bg more than a decade ago. What was your vision for the development of the company then? How have your plans changed in those years?
Back in 2009, my idea was to focus on cloud computing services and deliver consistently outstanding customer service. However, adhering to the customer’s feedback and addressing their wants and needs has always been our primary objective.
Over the years, many hosting providers failed to deliver high-quality customer service and didn’t manage to grow their operations. Our business industry is very demanding – it requires constant innovation, fast service, and automation of the processes, thereby falling behind its competitors. What kept us alive was our drive for listening to our customers and striving to provide them with the leading and most revolutionary technological innovations available.
A common belief is customer service is key to success in the web hosting industry. What is the role of this aspect in your company’s development?
Some of the challenges that arose in our industry were associated with hiring experts in the cloud computing sphere as their training and certification costs are high. Furthermore, keeping them motivated is yet another obstacle business owners have to face. Fortunately, we, at Delta. bg have never encountered this issue because we present new and diverse clients and projects daily. Our company made mandatory the training and certification of the employees as technology is evolving rapidly and we ought to be ready to understand the expanding technological market to deliver excellent customer service.
Delta’s primary objective is to deliver outstanding quality and responsiveness in terms of customer support. Our main competitive advantage is the recognition of every client’s project as our own one. We aim to ensure that everyone is treated fairly with a smile and respect: “If you want to stimulate change in people, change yourself first.” Moreover, from Delta.bg’s perspective, offering a solution, providing suggestions, and leaving the choice in the customer’s hands is the formula for success.
Can you share some key stats/milestones the company has reached since its establishment?
In 2013/2014, we completed the acquisition of a new brand called Jump.bg, an optimized high-speeding hosting provider. We started offering fast and efficient hosting services for small and medium enterprises, which allows us to expand our market offerings. Moreover, to appear at the top of Google search results, we acknowledged the importance of having a user-friendly, quick, and responsive website.
Currently, our clients are enjoying cutting-edge technology as Delta.bg is one of the few companies offering them. For us at Delta.bg, improving the quality and productivity of our services is fundamental for our and our client’s growth.
Another milestone was when I and my business partner decided to part ways. All the responsibilities of the business were passed on to me. To offer adequate customer service, I had to be constantly available. So, this necessitated the need to increase the workforce, and we succeeded in establishing true principles of working in a team.
Some of the challenges that arose in our industry were associated with hiring experts in the cloud computing sphere as their training and certification costs are high. Furthermore, keeping them motivated is yet another obstacle business owners have to face. Fortunately, we, at Delta.bg have never encountered this issue because we present new and diverse projects and clients daily. Our company made mandatory the training and certification of the employees as technology is evolving rapidly and we ought to be ready to understand the expanding technological market.
A hosting providers exhibition in Europe not long ago inspired me to start offering management of services, which turned out to be an excellent move towards meeting the newly created demand in Bulgaria back then.
Can you share an interesting story about collaborating with a customer?
One of our key partners is Technopolis, a Bulgarian hypermarket offering a wide range of consumer electronics. They struggled to meet the high customer demand on Black Friday. We all know that campaigns like this attract many online customers in a short period of time, and they all require adequate customer service. In instances when the hosting provider cannot absorb the requests and the clients’ flow, this may result in substantial losses for the business in terms of advertising, human resources, and failure to turn profits from sales.
Working for years with Technopolis, we managed to improve the productivity and the level of customer service provided. In order to meet the increasing demand, Delta.bg decided to install a cluster of services called light-speeding that can allow hundreds of servers to work together to improve general productivity. By nature, the servers ensure that every client has access to a highly responsible Internet website that meets customers’ needs at a lightning speed. In the case of Technopolis, this innovation turned out to be tremendously beneficial.
An interesting tendency that can be observed since we established a partnership with Technopolis, they tend to provide excellent customer service and manage to meet the high customer demand on various campaigns, such as Black Friday. However, it is worth mentioning that this requires constant monitoring and attention to observe whether all servers are working correctly. As in cases of overloading, Delta.bg shall respond fast to address the issue and find the necessary solution as, otherwise, one abnormality can result in crashes in the whole system. We are fortunate to share that we successfully developed an efficient operating system that leaves Technopolis satisfied with the obtained results.
What’s your advice to entrepreneurs when starting their businesses in the industry?
To be persistent. When a problem emerges, try to find a solution, every issue has one. Solving a problem can require adopting different approaches.
Be mindful of the client, and ensure that every customer’s need and request is met. Because when our clients and our relationship with them flourish and develop, our businesses will follow this path. A company cannot be big without having big customers.
Be ready to sacrifice your personal time. Educate yourself constantly. As the world is changing at a rapid pace, new technological innovations and competitors are emerging constantly. Therefore, we should be adaptive and flexible to react according to every situation that arises.
Your entrepreneurial path started when you were 16. What is the most important lesson you’ve learned in this time?
I have learned that things do not always happen the way we want. I have always been an impatient person. Therefore, one of the most valuable lessons for me was to learn how to embrace patience. I saw the beauty behind waiting for the right moment, being persistent, and learning how to be empathetic with our customers and colleagues.